4 Effective Ways to Stop Your Employees from Causing Security Breaches
Every business owner should be aware of the importance of data that keeps their company together. However, human errors are not uncommon, and sometimes your employees can inadvertently make small mistakes that can result in serious consequences and financial losses.
In the United States alone, the number of data breach incidents increased by 196% between 2009 and 2019. In 2018, 21% of data breaches were caused by human error.
Modern businesses gradually become more technology-dependent as the years go by. Unfortunately, cybercriminals keep finding new ways to gain access to sensitive information.
As such, it’s important to prevent the attacks from happening rather than dealing with their consequences. In this article, you’ll learn what you can do to stop your employees from causing potentially dangerous security breaches. Without any further ado, let’s get right into it!
Get to Know Your Employees
You may think that the so-called insider security breaches are caused by employees who do it out of malicious intent, hoping to make a profit. That may be the case for a minor percentage of incidents. However, the majority of internal breaches aren’t malicious. Hackers know exactly how to exploit tired, unobservant workforce and trigger data leaks. Fortunately, modern technology allows you to monitor your workers’ habits and activities, understand what causes certain behavior, and implement changes whenever it’s necessary.
If your business is too big and you can’t get to know all your employees and monitor their activities, consider getting help from professionals. Whenever you let handle the matters of cybersecurity by Bulletproof or other outside company, you’ll know someone else will be on the lookout for potential data breaches caused by your employees and that any issues will be resolved soon.
Teach Them about the Importance of Passwords and Sensitive Data
Employees who handle huge amounts of sensitive data may not even be aware of how crucial they are to your business. They can make mistakes even during routine operations, leading to information leaks. If you notice that events like sharing sensitive data with unauthorized people are common in your company or sending them to wrong recipients, accidentally deleting important files without making a backup copy, or removing them on purpose without knowing how significant they are, it’s time to act.
One of the things that can help them change their behaviors for the better is learning about the importance of passwords. Cybercriminals can easily gain access to your data by breaking weak passwords such as default credentials, simple keyboard sequences (like “qwerty” or “0okm9ijn”), or passwords with personal or corporate data. What’s more, careless password storage may cause security issues. Don’t let your employees keep their passwords open or display them publicly, for example, by writing them on sticky notes. Consider using a password manager and implementing a reliable password policy if you want to keep your company data safe.
Keep Your Software Authorized and Updated
Hackers know all too well how to exploit any holes in the system. Using outdated software and unauthorized programs seems like an invitation, as this step is so easily preventable, and yet it’s so often overlooked. Employees who ignore software updates, download unauthorized software and disable security features accidentally help potential hackers and put your data at risk.
Make sure your employees don’t feel rushed and have all the time they need to install all the updates and software fixes. Emphasize the importance of keeping your systems up and running, and point out that software that’s updated and reliable moves you one step closer to data security and a safe network.
Educate Your Employees
Your employees play a vital role in your company’s cybersecurity. As such, they need comprehensive security training to learn what are the most common mistakes they can make and what to do to avoid them. The vast majority of them will make mistakes by accident; that’s why they should know all the information they can receive to contribute to data security.
Make sure everyone understands why data protection is so important and what they can do to achieve it. After all, prevention is better than punishment, and installing effective security protocols is easier than dealing with the aftermath of a data breach.
The Bottom Line
People often make mistakes and sometimes it’s impossible to avoid them. Employees who are tired, overworked, and don’t understand the importance of the data they’re handling, are more prone to inadvertently causing security incidents. However, it’s up to you to come up with a training program, create a security team, or hire security professionals to make sure such mistakes are a rarity at your company. Be prepared, and your business won’t be subject to preventable risks and dangers.